How about a crinkle cutter for veggies or goggles for cutting onions? When it comes to cooking, it's a lot easier to get the job done when you have the right tools. And it can be downright disappointing when something doesn't work.
Consumer Reports asked its Facebook fans which kitchen gadgets they rely on and then the list was narrowed down and testers check them out. The list of essentials included can openers, graters garlic presses, and peelers.
Sensory panelists tried out traditional versions of these handy helpers along with ones that offer a twist. But, new-fangled doesn't necessarily mean "improved." More often than not testers preferred tried-and-true designs. And some of the gadgets were just plain awkward.
For example, the Joseph Joseph collapsible cheese grater doesn't lock. And the squeeze grater wasn't a favorite either. A better option is the Oxo Good Grips Box Grater for $18. And it even has a compartment with measurement markings for your grated cheese.
The Oxo Good Grips garlic press for $16 has a large chamber and a big plus is a built-in cleaner. And the $20 Oxo Magnetic Locking Can Opener was a lock with its cushioned grip and magnetic arm that keeps the lid from falling into the can.
As for peelers, Consumer Reports recommends the Kyocera ceramic peeler for $18. It has a comfortable handle and an adjustable blade that works well whether the chef is a righty or lefty.
BEST BUY SPACE HEATER
Dyson put style into household appliances, first with its vacuums and then with its fans. Now it's promoting a cool-looking space heater called Dyson Hot.
Consumer Reports says what's not so hot about the Dyson is its price. At $400, it's one of the most expensive space heaters it's ever tested.
So how did the Dyson Hot do in Consumer Reports labs? It passed an important safety test, where a terry cloth is placed on the heater to see if it scorches or catches fire. The surface of the Dyson doesn't get so hot that you can't touch it. So that's not a safety risk. And it's got another important safety feature. It shuts off if it's tipped over.
But Its remote presents a safety risk to young children. It has a small button cell battery that's easily accessible and hazardous if swallowed. If you have young children, Consumer Reports says that you should make sure the remote is kept out of their reach and you can operate the space heater without the remote.
Another test assesses how evenly space heaters distribute heat. Sensors measure the temperature in different parts of the room. The Dyson Hot did an excellent job.
But it didn't score well for noise. At its highest fan setting, the Dyson Hot is one of the loudest space heaters Consumer Reports ever tested.
Consumer Reports says a better choice is the Vornado TouchStone 500 Vortex Heat for $120. It also does a very good job and even on high, it's not very noisy.
Whatever space heater you use, Consumer Reports says you won't see savings unless you turn down the heat in the rest of your house. And never leave a space heater unattended - that's a safety hazard.